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J Chem Inf Comput Sci. 2003 Sep-Oct;43(5):1481-5.

Importance of native-state topology for determining the folding rate of two-state proteins.

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Computational Biology Research Center (CBRC), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Aomi Frontier Building 17F, 2-43 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan.


Understanding the relationship between amino acid sequences and folding rate of proteins is a challenging task similar to protein folding problem. In this work, we have analyzed the relative importance of protein sequence and structure for predicting the protein folding rates in terms of amino acid properties and contact distances, respectively. We found that the parameters derived with protein sequence (physical-chemical, energetic, and conformational properties of amino acid residues) show very weak correlation (|r| < 0.39) with folding rates of 28 two-state proteins, indicating that the sequence information alone is not sufficient to understand the folding rates of two-state proteins. However, the maximum positive correlation obtained for the properties, number of medium-range contacts, and alpha-helical tendency reveals the importance of local interactions to initiate protein folding. On the other hand, a remarkable correlation (r varies from -0.74 to -0.88) has been obtained between structural parameters (contact order, long-range order, and total contact distance) and protein folding rates. Further, we found that the secondary structure content and solvent accessibility play a marginal role in determining the folding rates of two-state proteins. Multiple regression analysis carried out with the combination of three properties, beta-strand tendency, enthalpy change, and total contact distance improved the correlation to 0.92 with protein folding rates. The relative importance of existing methods along with multiple-regression model proposed in this work will be discussed. Our results demonstrate that the native-state topology is the major determinant for the folding rates of two-state proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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